Crinkling Paper Techniques FAQs & some paper vocab March 21 2024

Not all crinkled paper is made the same..... and not all crinkled paper is referred to in quite the same way. What does "momigami" refer to? The word "momi" literally means "crinkled" or "kneaded"- It's a descriptor for the following noun "kami" or "gami" (as a suffix) meaning "paper". In Japanese "shi" is also used a suffix meaning "paper". "Momu" is the verb "to knead" in Japanese. There is hand-crinkled paper, typically using "the one-fist-at-a-time" method. That's how we crinkled this heavyweight marbled kōzo paper for facemasks we sewed on a sewing machine. The sheets became softer and more fabric-like the more we crinkled them. The masks were quite comfortable on one's face; the paper was soft for the skin. The image below shows our vintage Momi Kōzo Papers recently added to our shop. The more fancy metallic version are now up on our shop too: Fancy Momi Kōzo Papers. These 2-ply papers are crinkled and dyed on the "front" side, and also have a flat (un-crinkled), white backing. Here's a little video of crinkling paper mask crinkling Absolutely any paper can be crinkled, and can be called "momigami". However, in the world of washi (Japanese paper), we typically see momigami made with a large dyed piece of kōzo paper sometimes known as "mingeishi'. When washi is creped with a tool (instead of the hand) then the paper is referred to as creped in English, however, Japanese it can still be referred to as "momi-something". For example above here is an image of "momi chiyogami" or chirimen- gami . chirimen (creped) gami or kami for paper. Momi chiyogami is crinkled or creped with a straight bar tool; using a tool like a stick or bar, allows you to crinkle or crepe paper a little more evenly; like image above. Above is a before and after photo of turning regular wrapping paper into a creped paper by using a large, traditional, very analogue creping process. What does "kyōseishi" refer to? Kyōseishi = Momigami with starch. In this case, "kyōsei" means "strengthened". The correct word for to refer to a paper both crinkled and starched with konjac or konnyaku is kyōseishi or sometimes "kamiko" if made into large extended lengths of kyoseishi. The photo above depicts a beautiful pillow made out of kyōseishi. Here's a little video on the toughness of kyōsei We also have these gorgeous starched papers covered with gold leaf dust- they are called Kindeishi or (kin) "gold" (dei) "mud" (shi) "paper": in English their nickname is "muddy gold paper". They are basically very starched kyōseishi with gold leaf dust. What is "joomchi" ? Is an ancient Korean craft and the best translation is felted paper, but instead of felting with soap, which one would use with wool, only water and good quality kōzo paper is necessary. Image below depicts the craft of joomchi. Click here for more of our blog posts related to joomchi.
MORE PAPER VOCAB! The word "kōzo" is the Japanese word for the paper mulberry fiber made from what is known in English as the paper mulberry bush or (Broussonetia papyrifera).
The Korean word is "cham dak".
The word "hanji"' is the word for paper hand-crafted in Korea.
The majority of hanji happens to be made from paper mulberry fiber.

2023: The Year of Paper in Rhode Island February 02 2024

TO: You wonderful people that continue to support my world of paper and fiber arts FROM: Lauren Pearlman Sugita
For me, 2023 was all about E X P A N S I O N! Only about 1/2 a year ago, a lovely, large studio space was found and a new partnership began. It's still a work in progress, but it has an official name the "Art Annex" located in Pawtucket, RI; 2 miles up the road from Paper Connection.
This new studio, which is about 1500 sq. feet, provides a creative space for gathering both the interesting and interested; it allows me the freedom to connect with folks in my community in person. and, of course, to finally get to enjoy using and sharing state-of-the-art tools and equipment via teaching and learning. Check out the very first blog post about the Art Annex. In the 2nd half of 2023, the Art Annex was able to open its doors for: a. fiber & paper clinics, b. papermaking, printmaking and weaving demos, c. open houses, and national conference tours, d. workshops in printmaking, book arts, weaving, and papermaking taught by us and by guest instructors.
In the Year of the Dragon: 2024- There is so much more to look forward to! Here's to even more art making in 2024!!
Thank you always for your continued support of my endeavors. PS. Will I see you in early April at SGC International? Happy to show you around the new space! PPS If you have a proposal for a workshop, presentation, event or collaboration at the Art Annex, please reach out via email.

Hand Papermaking in RI November 04 2023

During 89 yrs young Ayako Yoshizumi's tough schedule of teaching, lecturing and doing demonstrations while visiting lil' ol'Rhode Island , (please read previous blog post), I was so grateful to have several incredibly hard-working volunteers helping, who also maintain a great appreciation of hand papermaking and tradtional crafts. Here is a wonderful blog post by one of our favorite supporters: "Ms. Noriko Crasso", who is a talented local artist in many mediums. This is Noriko's original blog post in Japanese: The English version is below here. Thank you Noriko! I am so happy that you were inspired to write this post. Lauren

“Art Annex” Papermaking Workshop

I went to a paper-making workshop hosted by Lauren from Paper Connection, who is helping out with the Tanabata Festival.

Lauren's papermaking teachers, Ayako Sensei and her daughter Tomo WASHI YOSHI, were visiting from Japan. Ayako-sensei is now 89 years old, but she is still in good health! With her spine straight, her eyes were drawn to the image of her mixing water with kozo.

The American participants in the workshop communicated with each other through gestures, which made me happy as well.

The plant ``Kouzo'', which is the raw material for paper, is mixed with water along with ``neri'' or ``yam'', which acts as ``glue'', and then filtered in a sieve.
Shake the screen back and forth to drain the water and distribute the kozo evenly.
Carefully remove the paper from the screen, dry it in the sun, and it's done.

At the ``WASHI YOSHI'' workshop held in Japan, we deliberately sand the mulberry to make it uneven in the bamboo basket, layer colored mulberry on top of each other, and create small holes in the mulberry. It seems that each participant is enjoying the original art.

In addition to paper making, I also learned how to make Kinkarakami paper. You can make such wonderful things! I was so impressed! (My son loves gold, so he was overjoyed when I brought it home.)

We use paper casually on a daily basis, but when you think about how each sheet of paper used to go through many processes in the past, it makes you think, ``Thank you so much,'' even for paper made with machines today. ” It seems that the feeling will grow!

Ayako-sensei carefully checking the drying paper was illuminated by the sunlight and looked very impressive.
Ayako-sensei checking that the paper is dry

Thank you very much Lauren-san, Ayako-sensei, and Tomo-san! Thank you for your hard work!

``WASHI YOSHI'' Instagram You can see the workshop held in Rhode Island and creative works using various handmade washi papers.

"Art Annex" Instagram This is the studio of LAUREN PEARLMAN SUGITA and SUZI BALLENGER in Pawtucket . Various interesting workshops are held here. ● ``Paper Connection'' website Lauren's company sells Japanese paper and Japanese paper accessories.

Introducing the Yoshizumi Duo September 10 2023

I am proud to introduce you to my papermaking teacher- Ms. Ayako Yoshizumi, now 89 years old, with whom I met her daughter- Tomoko in 2018. Ayako and Tomoko Yoshizumi are a mother/daughter duo from the Western side of Tokyo, Japan co-teaching papermaking and paper arts workshops in many parts of the world including Mexico and Romania. For 35 years Ayako has taught papermaking at the Yamazaki Elementary School in Tokyo to students between the ages of 7-13. Several years ago, Tomoko joined her mother in spreading the word about the importance of paper made with one’s own hands. With access to the school’s professional papermaking studio, the Yoshizumis are keenly focused on teaching the elderly population, which is the fastest growing segment of the Japanese population; known as the “silver” population.Both inside and outside of Japan, the duo has made it their mission to teach how “washi”-Japanese handmade paper, can be used in everyday life, as it was hundreds of years ago and to ensure it will be used by future generations. I have learned many new techniques from Ayako Yoshizumi and I am grateful for the friendship that quickly formed between the 3 of us. You can only imagine how SUPER-excited I am to host the mother/daughter duo to my hometown and have them teach weekend workshops in mid-October at our brand new studio in Pawtucket, RI: the Art Annex. During the same stay, together we will take part in PAPER TIDES: the North American Hand Papermakers conference at RI School of Design and give a demonstration on Friday afternoon, October 20th at the RISD Auditorium inside 20 Washington Place, Providence, RI. The demonstration will review the history and how-to's of Kinkara kami or gilded embossed wallpaper . It is Ayako Yoshizumi's first time in the USA. Let's all give a warm welcome and may New England show off its best ever autumn leaves' colors this October! By the Paperwoman- Lauren Pearlman Sugita. The name of their enterprise is called Washi Yoshi- click to see their Instagram page.

Elisa Lanzi: new show, new workshop July 03 2023

July 5-30th, Elisa Lanzi has a new art exhibit with her friend, Rhea Banker at Anchor House of Artists in Northhampton, MA. Check out Elisa's newsletter. AND...... On Saturday, September 23, 2023, special guest instructor Elisa Lanzi will teach a 3-hour book arts workshop at our new studio space, the Art Annex. Read the Description and Sign up here: COLLAGE ARTIST BOOK Workshop. .

Q&A with Susan Rossiter April 20 2023

The artist in her studio in front of Meandering in Yellow 48”x60” paint and paper assemblage

How would you define your artwork, technique, and paper application?

I make paint and paper assemblages inspired by colors, shapes, and patterns from the 1950s through the 1970s. Layering papers under and over paint creates a beautiful history and the closer you get, the more history you see - sometimes back to the very first layers.

Could you share insights into your process and current projects?

Retro Floral trio Small paint and paper assemblages on cradled wood panels
I’m very excited to be working on 20 small paint and paper assemblages right now. The final dimensions for each piece will be about 7 ½” or 19cm squares and they’ll hang in a grid together like a family. Some of the pieces will be 3 dimensional or sculptural. The trick will be to make them so they all get along together.

Why do you create? What is the meaning behind your work?

For me, making art is necessary; like eating and sleeping. If I have gone too long without creating, I become restless, agitated, and combative. Painting makes me happy and gives me those good brain chemicals.
Series of paint and paper assemblages in progress, becoming part of a group called Autumn Poetry

What influences inspire you and why?

I have a wonderful Aunt who has been sending me interesting things found on her travels since I was born. Tea towels, scarves, ornaments, decorative boxes, papers, postcards, and photos from all over the world were my biggest influence. I started researching some items and found textile designers from the 50s and 60s such as Jacqueline Groag and Lucienne Day. Their use of bold colors, patterns, and shapes stayed with me and started showing up in my paintings.

Can you describe the importance of paper in your work?

I have never been happy using only paint in my paintings- incorporating papers under and over paint creates a unique look you can’t achieve with paint alone. It gives the paintings texture and richness. People often ask me “How did you do that?!”
Retro Floral 12”x12” Paint and paper assemblage on wood panel

Are there papers from Paper Connection that you can speak about, provide insights, elaborations, process, and/or integrity of quality?

The inclusion papers, bark papers, and asarakusuishi are especially nice for creating texture under paint. The lotka papers are my favorite. I love collaging with them and love the colors in this series. I also use modern and traditional printmaking processes on the lotka and calligraphy papers to make my own unique collage elements. I keep a paper catalogue with samples and name/product numbers of each paper for reference in the event I need more. The catalogue also comes in handy when people ask what kind of paper I used in a particular piece.
Grey Meandering 4”x4” Paint and paper assemblage on wood panel

Do you ever get stuck?

YES. Getting stuck is just part of being an artist. It’s part of being a human really. I keep a list of things I can do depending on my mood. When conditions are ideal and I can bring my “A-game” I paint and plan, whatever I need to accomplish that day effortlessly. When I’m a little tired or distracted I do other things that will help conditions to be ideal the next day such as clean off a surface in my studio or set up the paint, papers, and substrates so it’s all ready for me to jump into action the next morning. It’s easy to get stuck if your studio is too cluttered and you have no place to work.
Close-up of: Meandering in Yellow 48”x60” Paint and paper assemblage on canvas
If I’m just not feeling it, sick, or stuck, I do something on this list depending on my energy level:
  • Print or paint papers for future use
  • Organize one bin or drawer
  • Go to a gallery, museum, paper or art supply store
  • Look at art books or magazines and make notes on color combinations or patterns for reference
  • Listen to or watch movies, videos, or podcasts about other artists (they all have their struggles)
To me, it’s essential to recognize it’s not the end of the world if you get stuck. It’s an opportunity to relax and refresh. There is something you can do at every level of mood and energy that will help make your next creating session successful. I encourage everyone to make their own lists, so you are ready when the low days come.
(So) Fetch 30”x30” Paint and paper assemblage on canvas

2023 is your year! What do you feel hopeful about with your practice?

As an artist educator for GOLDEN Paints and Silver Brush, I am provided with extensive training on artist products and tools. This year, I am creating some fun “how-to” videos so I can share my knowledge
The Sky is Falling 30”x30” Paint and paper assemblage, wood veneer on canvas

Do you have any upcoming shows or installations in progress?

I’m honored to be part of Studios on High Gallery in the city's energetic Short North Arts District (Columbus, Ohio). My work can be seen there year-round and as part of our member group shows in February, November, and December. I’ll also be in the gallery 2 or 3 days each month demonstrating many of my processes. Feel free to email me if you’re in the area and would like a gallery tour. In April and October, I’ll be teaching several workshops at the longest-running Mixed Media Artists Retreat in Portland, OR. It’s a wonderful retreat! Workshop descriptions are here:
Susan Rossiter Mid-Century no. 29 48”x48” Paint and paper assemblage on canvas
Close-up of Mid-Century Modern no.29
Example of paper texture under paint “Welcome Home” from the Vessels series. A paint/paper assemblage with silkworm cocoon and twigs on 5”x8” wood panel with ransom note signature

Do you have an online portfolio or another site where folks can view more of your work?

Follow Susan on Instagram Facebook: Current paintings can always be seen at Studios on High Gallery, Columbus, Ohio Susan’s website has examples of work, additional information about the artist, some smaller items for sale, and a workshop and event schedule. While you’re there-please sign up for her mailing list. She offers free demos and gatherings for subscribers and only sends a few emails each year. Thank you for sharing your great work, experience, and inner working insights, Susan.

Big News April 03 2023

Introducing the ART ANNEX! Lauren Pearlman Sugita, founder and director at Paper Connection has partnered with master weaver and artist Suzi Ballenger of RealFibers to realize a long-time dream. The new ART ANNEX, opening this month, is greater Rhode Island's only educational center for paper and fiber arts open to anyone in the community. The ART ANNEX is located in one of the largest, remaining mill complexes in the state, called HOPE ARTISTE VILLAGE. The building complex is on the National Register of Historic Places. The ART ANNEX is the largest educational center for paper, fiber and book arts of its kind between NYC and Portland, ME. The ART ANNEX is a local makers' space created for the greater community - welcoming folks of all ages and from all backgrounds. The ART ANNEX 's mission is to create a safe and accessible learning environment for traditional crafts, such as hand papermaking, hand weaving, natural dyeing, and book making.
First up at the ART ANNEX?
@Hope Artiste Village, 999 Main St. Unit #109 Pawtucket, RI.
April 8: Handweaving Basics 10am Sign up here 6 week course. April 14: Monoprints & Monotypes 5:30pm Sign up here 2 -hour workshop. April 15 & April 16: Lauren and Suzi will be in-house after 1pm both days, Drop In to make your own handmade hemp/(or some relative fiber) paper postcard/small sheet (suggested donation $5.00) during the Coastal Cultivator Classic sponsored by Mother Earth Wellness.
While we prepare the space for future workshops- mainly papermaking workshops ;), please join us at our Wednesday pm Drop-In Clinics during the Pawtucket Indoor Farmer's Market.
When: Beginning April 12, 2023, Wednesday nights, during the Indoor Farmer Market; next door at 1005 Main St.4:00-7:00 pm.. (Some Wednesdays in the future, Suzi may be selling vegetables too!) Where: The ART ANNEX 999 Main Street, Unit #109 Pawtucket, RI.
Donations are much appreciated!
Please stop by to check out the beautiful looms and gorgeous items for sale in our shop. Both Lauren and Suzi will be in-house to help troubleshoot your paper, fiber and book arts queries and quandaries. BONUS! we all get to meet each other- expanding our worlds.
MORE HOURS COMING SOON We'll be adding more open shop hours later in the spring and we'll definitely keep you posted. For all of you outside of the area, please visit our online shop. We truly hope you can visit the ART ANNEX someday soon!
for more information please email:

Amy Trendler ❤️s Our Yuzen & Lokta Papers March 13 2023


I've been meaning to send photos of books I've made with paper from Paper Connection. These notebooks started for personal use (wavy lines green Laurelai Designs), and gifts to friends & family (yuzen blue waves & lokta white floral on lime). I recently started making books to sell (like your blue katazome - a hard one for me to part with, and the botanical lokta papers).

You'll recognize more from Paper Connection in my shop: I also wanted to send a "thank you" for making these papers available, including where they come from and what they are suited for. I enjoy mixing & matching designs, textures, and paper weights. I've been jokingly, telling people that I'm starting to make books to sell to support my love of acquiring decorative paper. Actually, there is a grain of truth to this humor!

Hanji is my next experiment and I'm thrilled to discover a great selection of Korean-made papers in your shop. I'll be placing another order soon! Thanks again for making all these amazing papers available. Best, Amy T

Editor's Note: Check out Amy's site to see more beautiful pieces using 100% recycled rag paper from India, amate, plus many beautiful combinations of textures and colors. Thank you, Amy!

Fabulously Flexible Hanji November 13 2022

beauty & texture

the delight of windswept edges

our papers help tell your story

How could hanji (Korean paper) be applied in your creative process?
Hanji is becoming a well-known handmade paper in the West. The base fiber is mulberry or dak, in Korean. Sometimes two fibers are mixed, like dak and samjidak, the Korean version of mitsumata or Edgeworthia chrysantha (part of the Thymelaeaceae family of plants). Paper Connection stocks varied weights and colors as part of our extensive inventory of mostly Eastern fine art papers. Depending on characteristics, these papers perform best within book and paper conservation, with others playing a leading role in printmaking, calligraphy, painting, and papercrafts, such as joomchi (paper felting) or jiseung (paper basketry). Home interiors including sliding doors, lanterns, clothing, fans, and heated flooring, are beautifully created, with hanji papers. Durable, smooth, breathable, and who can resist those deckled edges! We stock almost forty colors of hanji and several whites for specific fields and techniques. You can view current stock by clicking here: hanji. Be inspired! Hanji paper by Lee Sun – Future Materials Bank Hanji Meets the World ( Hanji In The House! ( Joomchi! Everybody’s talking about it! ( Artist of the Month: Bill Lorton ( Artist Julie Miller on Joomchi – Korean Paper Felting ( Meet PJ Bergin; Hanji’s Newest and Biggest Fan ( Multimedia Artist – Elisa Lanzi ( Painting & Calligraphy Paper Plunge ( Jeannine Mullan: Space, Layers & Chance ( Play Versus Purpose with A.I.R. Lisa Perez ( artist of the month printmaker Nichol Markowitz ( For my collage work and photo transfers I like to use colored hanji (Korean mulberry paper). - Nichol Markowitz

Curating WITH PAPER September 12 2022

I recently curated a gallery group exhibit gallery at Pawtucket Arts Collaborative. Show Title: WITH PAPER, A PAC Gallery Pop-up, showcased works by Bayda Asbridge, Suzi Ballenger, Justine Chang, and myself, Lauren Pearlman Sugita. All 4 participating artists work with paper in different ways with overlaps. The basis, of course, was how we all work with, live with, and communicate with paper.
Lauren Pearlman Sugita, couching, SMFA
handmade paper A Book of Spinach & Feta
handmade flax paper Mollusks from Mars
handmade cotton paper, Laurelai Designs Woven Vines
Putting together such a quick turn-around event like this, definitely challenged my "juggling" skills. I was super-focused and in an abbreviated amount of time, it came together! The collaboration afforded me the opportunity to connect and deepen relationships with three super-talented artists, mainly by spending intimate time with their work. It was interesting for me that the act of curation, allowed me to know each one in a new way (including myself!). As I continually seek community, the experience provided a new path for connectivity and bonds. As WITH PAPER, the gallery show, assembled in just a few days, a "community" was formed. Those connections were the most rewarding gift of WITH PAPER. I requested each of the other 3 artists to send in a comment subsequent to the show.
Bayda Asbridge mixed media Our Village
BAYDA ASBRIDGE writes: I was invited by Lauren Pearlman Sugita from Paper Connection to participate in this pop-up exhibit WITH PAPER at the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative. It was short notice but still, Lauren worked extremely hard to put a very professional show together with our group while maintaining her business during the day. I was incredibly grateful to be invited and to be part of this beautiful exhibit because it gave me a deadline to finish a paper tapestry "San Diego on My Mind", an opportunity to bond with other artists, and the opportunity to reach a wider audience.
Bayda Asbridge mixed media fiber, paper, weaving San Diego on My Mind
Bayda Asbridge mixed media fiber, paper, weaving Blue Lagoon by Bayda Asbridge
SUZI BALLENGER writes: Thank you Lauren for your curatorial wisdom and vision. WITH PAPER became an opportunity to work through my thoughts on the series “To Be of Use”. These works reflect on the interconnection of vitality/detritus, growth/sediment, and need/sacrifice, an exciting exploration worth further investigation. Meeting the other artists was an honor. The work chosen for this exhibit made me feel like I was part of a common understanding and passion.
Suzi Ballenger handmade paper, onion skin To Be of Use
Suzi Ballenger handmade abaca paper, reed, porcupine quills I realized I was the one who was trapped. I just couldn’t swallow another fly!
Suzi Ballenger handmade abaca, hemp Suggestive Freedoms
JUSTINE CHANG writes: The show came together beautifully, and I was honored to be a part. As someone who is new to handmade paper, I’ve been constantly surprised by the generosity of other artists working with paper, including Lauren, Suzi, and Bayda. It was such a meaningful experience, to meet the artists, and to see the response of people who came to view the work. All of this confirms for me, that working with paper is an important way to reconnect with my body, my heritage, and nature.
Justine Chang photography on Korean paper. hanji Series: Margins
Justine Chang photography on Korean paper. hanji Series: Margins